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How ‘Faceprints’ Can Jeopardize Your Online Privacy

Ever since social networking was introduced, people are being associated to their online profiles with pictures. This was a revolutionary concept considering people provided their own pictures willingly and there are no copyrights or privacy violation issues. This means that there are pictures, through which your identity can be established on the World Wide Web. However, there might be a database in some remote location that might contain a digital rendering of your face, making it easy for recognition. This is called ‘Faceprint’.

What is ‘Faceprint’?

A fingerprint is unique for each and every person. This difference can be noticed if you closely study the patterns of two or more different prints. There will be differences in the spacing between two lines, the curvature of the lines, the number of lines, the pattern in which the lines originate and culminate, etc.

In the same way, a pattern can be established for each face. The curvature of each face, the way the jaw line originates and culminates, the spacing between eyes, color of eyes, the dimensions of nose, etc. This is the same approach that facial recognition software adopt to recognize faces. Imagine if such a database is present through which people can access your personal pages. The implications could be disastrous.

Why is Faceprint Important?

Companies are investing a lot of money in developing applications which can recognize faces. A face is more accessible than a fingerprint and can be easily captured using a camera. Furthermore, there will be no need to inconvenience the person of interest unnecessarily by asking them to log in the fingerprint.

The Good and Bad of Faceprint

There are many good applications of faceprint. It will enable you to track and tag pictures of your buddies on social networks, locate the location of a person through video feeds, recognize potentially dangerous people and question them, etc.

But the same faceprint can be used in a bad way too. It can help criminals to get an insight into the private life of a person and plot their devious scheme. It can assist companies in giving an insight into the personal lives of their employees or potential employees. Criminals can use faceprint to unearth valuable data about a target to help them in plotting their activities.

Need to Strictly Regulate the Usage of Faceprint

Facial tagging is not a new thing and has been around from more than three decades. It did not pose such a serious problem till the introduction of social media networks. Nowadays, people seem to publish their lives on networks like Facebook and Twitter. With some careful analysis and timing, anyone can deduce the personality of the person of interest through his/her social media network behavior. This has been proved by a study conducted in a university a couple of years ago.

People Need to Be More Discreet

The solution to this problem can only be though the general public themselves. As much as they like to show what is going on in their lives to their friends,  people should adopt a level of discretion when it comes to posting personal data on social networking sites. They should realize that any miscreant can take advantage of that data and can cause problems.

Celebrities, public servants and other famous people should take special care to ensure that too much information on their private life should not be leaked to the public, directly or indirectly. A study conducted by the FBI showed that social media sites are the number one preference for miscreants who want to spy on their targets. It also highlighted how they use anonymous social media accounts to get in touch personally with the targets. All this can be avoided if the people themselves are a bit more careful and discreet on their online endeavors.

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